Plastic Bag Death, How?

Also (and I don’t think this is a spoiler in and of itself) death from having a plastic bag taped over one’s head was depicted in the movie The Life of David Gale.

The difference being that in that case,

the suicide victim handcuffed her own hands behind her back so that she would not be able to remove the bag from her head even when CO2 built up to such a point that the urge to do so might have compelled her.

So it sounds like the regular beatings have been reasonably effective?

Just to be nitpicky, sticking your head in an unlit oven used to be more effective in the days of coal gas when doing so poisoned you with CO, not just killing you by suffocation.

There was, and he won a Darwin Award for his efforts.

Putting a plastic bag over one’s head, without the aid of any other substance or drug, seems like an unlikely method for successfully committing suicide. Even the most depressed, determined-to-die person is going to experience panic or something like it when they begin to run out of air and cannot breath. When panic strikes, you react on an almost instinctive level.

When you pull a trigger, or jump off a ledge; that’s it. There is no time for your body and your instincts to fignt against your mind.

Indeed. Or otherwise why not just hold your breath until you die?
TXJoe33 - your friend likely used sleeping pills or alcohol (if this indeed was a suicide).

Because as soon as you pass out, you will resume normal breathing. The use of a bag assures that you will not receive fresh air, regardless of whether you breathe or not (provided you have the cast-iron will to avoid ripping the bag off of your head when the CO2 level builds up).

I have no cite but I think it’s been proven that you cannot hold your breath even to the point of passing out. That, just like pulling your hand from a burning stove, your reptilian brain stem will initiate a reflexive breath before you pass out, independent of any higher will not to…

Likewise, I don’t know right-off where the cite was, but I’ve seen descriptions suggesting that even after you pass out from lack of oxygen, you might still reflexively pull the plastic bag off your head.

There’s a site describing ways to off yourself (apparently written largely by one habitual suicider who’s done it many times) which mentions this. I gather that his multiple suicides, by many methods, were not all entirely successful.

I think he concluded, from experience, that suicide by helium (or maybe nitrogen) is the pleasantest way to go. Apparently he knows whereof he speaks.

Okay, here’s the cite.

Yikes! TEN years and 3 days later, someone clicked on the link in the post just above, thus earning me Yet Another Popular Link badge! Unfortunately, the link is dead. I wonder how long it’s been dead.

The guy had a hobby of committing failed suicide attempts, or so he claimed. Maybe he finally failed at that.

This was a point too in the symptoms of COVID. While the lung infection reduces the effectiveness of absorbing oxygen, it does not inhibit the removal of CO2 from the body. As a result the patient usually does not suffer from the panic of “I can’t breathe” that accompanies many other lung afflictions. However, the lack of oxygen makes the person extremely weak.

The thought would be a plastic bag over the head would create a high level of CO2 and eventually result in the same painful panic one gets when they cannot breathe at all. As mentioned above, without handcuffs the person would probably panic so much that it would take tremendous willpower to not react by ripping the bag off… I assume. Unlikely it’s a serene way to go without the assistance of medication.

Then again, there were pictures in Life Magazine of monks in Vietnam protesting by setting themselves on fire then sitting calmly as they burned. So the mind can do amazing things - sometimes.

I’ve seen a few sites where a person tries out and “reviews” various suicide methods, deliberately using quantities / times that will not be fatal. (obviously not all methods can be tried out)
The justification is that a) The site begins with information about getting counselling and b) If a person is committed to kill themselves anyway they give info on what is likely to be the most comfortable way.

IMO there’s nothing wrong with someone providing such information, but I know it is a contentious issue and I won’t link those sites here.

I’ve been to a couple of C&S death scenes and the subject used some kind of rope, cable, or clamp to cut off their oxygen while they masturbated. Never saw or heard of one using a bag.

Using a bag to kill yourslf would eventually cause a panic when oxygen ran low. This is why people that use it also use a hearty dose of drugs or alcohol. Or as previously mentioned, some kind of gas.

I have been to a couple of suicides that used a bag and a helium tank from Walmart. One guy used a propane tank which I don’t get. That stuff stinks.

C&S= Choke & Stroke. Police jargon. Sorry.

I’ve lived a sheltered life. I’ve never heard of any of this. Autoerotic Asphyxiation or suicide by suffocating yourself.

My advice is don’t try either. Both are, however, a lot more common than the public realizes.

Folks would be surprised at some of the weird contraptions men* have built to try to choke themselves while masturbating and not asphyxiate themselves. Those contraptions usually fail. A pity. From what I’ve been told using poppers delivers the same sensation and is relatively harmless to most users.

*I have only ever heard of men dying from c&s. I’m sure women somewhere have done it but I have never heard of a single female death from it.

I am aware of some hanging suicides that involved some kind of extra fail-safe measure. For example David Foster Wallace bound his own hands behind his back with zip-ties before taking the plunge. I wonder if some people use a plastic bag over their head for that reason.

I hope nobody actually commits suicide by asphyxiation. I can only imagine gasping in terror and only coming up with CO2, realizing it’s going to be an agonizing death, desperately wishing for a do-over.

Actor David Carradine (Kung Fu) died via “accidental asphyxiation.”

Well, until this last year I didn’t realize that the four people I know of who died suddenly at a young age (<40) all likely died of accidental or deliberate overdose. Only after the fifth instance did my teenager suggested that a lot of the phrases in the announcements were euphemisms did I cotton on.

I’m not going to post it so as not to make light if it here.

But Norm MacDonald had a bit on autoerotic asphyxiation. It’s on Youtube if you care to see it. But he does touch on the reality of the person that finds the body,

When someone discovers the body of somebody that died that way it’s one if the most traumatic things ever. Even more than if they had committed suicide. They’re usually nude and there is some kind of porn present. They often times still have an erection and an assortment of bodily fluids. Then there is the embarrassment to the family when people ask how their loved one died and so on. It is categorized as an accidental death.

One of the death investigations I was present at was the son of a woman who was a close friend of my Mother. What an absolute horror story it was when it was explained to her how and why her 25 year old son died.